Patrick Teale

We sat down with Yankees pitching coordinator Danny Borrell for a Q&A session to discuss the DSL pitching prospects.

We sat down with Yankees' minor league pitching coordinator Danny Borrell for a Q&A session. In the final section of this multi-part series we get his take on the status of highly touted Daniel Ramos, his opinion on the debut of Rafael Lara, if Anderson Severino is making progress, how other top DSL arms have looked thus far, and much, much more!.

PinstripesPlus.com: There's been talk for a while now about right-hander Daniel Ramos down in the Dominican Summer League and the tremendous upside he has. From my understanding he had shoulder surgery. Where is he in his progress and just how much upside does he have?

Borrell: Ramos is coming back from a shoulder surgery and he's throwing bullpens now. He was very highly coveted would be the correct term. He looks good. Hopefully he comes back and his shoulder stays healthy but he looks good. The ball is coming out very good. He's just like the other guys, give him a full season, see what we have, and go from there. I know he's a good athlete. His last two years have been almost a wash.

PinstripesPlus.com: What was his stuff like before the surgery?

Borrell: As a 16, 17-year old he was 90-94 mph and spins a breaking ball like no other, and has a really good changeup. Nice and easy, the ball just flew out of his hand. This whole Track-man stuff that we have, he's probably one of the top guys we have across the board. Obviously he's still very young and we still have a couple of years but hopefully he just stays healthy. He's not a big kid and he looks like he's 12 years old. It's unreal but put a baseball in his hand and it's pretty nice.

PinstripesPlus.com: What can you tell me about right-hander Rafael Lara?

Borrell: He made his last start [in the United States] and got promoted from the DSL late in the season. He'll be here next year. He's in the low to mid-90s. I've seen him at 97 [mph] in the fifth inning and another guy with a good breaking ball but it's like you said, unless you're a first or second rounder coming out of high school, especially these young Latin kids, they still need one more full season just to put themselves on the map. He has a lightning-quick arm. Great arm action, small wiry kid but you can tell he's strong. He spins the breaking ball well; has a nice curveball. His changeup has some split-bottom to it but he throws it like a changeup.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's move on to Anderson Severino because he seems to have some filthy stuff. I know he has his issues throwing strikes and limiting walks but there seems to be some significant upside. Is he making progress repeating his motion and throwing more strikes?

Borrell: He did make progress. At the end of the season he was making progress. You're talking about a young left-handed Dominican kid who knows he can get it up to 97-98 mph. I'm sure I would have been the same way if I were that age and throwing as hard as he does. He's trying to harness it and it's just your prototypical young Dominican pitcher who is going to have to try to find the right throttle, he's going to have to find the correct RPMs to pitch under. He does have a pretty repeatable delivery. It's just one of those things where he's like 'alright, I know I have 97 mph let's see if I can bring it out every pitch' and he gets a little wild.

PinstripesPlus.com: Talking about these young Latin arms, I have to ask about Freicer Perez. Not only were the numbers pretty impressive but just his sheer size screams huge projection, no?

Borrell: He's 6-foot-10, up to 95 mph and he throws strikes. You don't find these 6-foot-10 guys who are athletic and can repeat their delivery at a young age but he certainly can. We'll probably see a lot of him in the States next year. The only thing he needs to do is continue to pitch but he has a very exciting arm. That will be a guy to keep an eye on.

PinstripesPlus.com: Well Domingo Acevedo was a young guy who threw strikes and didn't always throw 100 mph like he does now. He wasn't throwing nearly as hard back then down in the Dominican Summer League like he is now. How are Perez's secondary pitches?

Borrell: He's eerily similar to Domingo. This kid has the chance to throw an elite range. He's throwing 95 mph right now pretty much because he as a good arm. So whenever we can start getting those legs into his delivery he's going to throw extremely hard. We're looking forward to that. He's put together well, he's a good kid, he works hard, we just have to make sure we give him everything he needs to succeed.

PinstripesPlus.com: I know he's not 6-foot-10 but at 6-foot-5 Isaac Padilla is no smurf either. He too had good numbers this year. What can you tell us about him?

Borrell: Big boy, another kid who has a chance to throw extremely hard. He has the makings of a plus curveball and he's got a nice little changeup. I've seen him up to 97 mph. I've seen him pitch at 93 mph, I've seen him at 94 mph, and I've seen him pitch at 90 mph. It fluctuates but that's the case with young pitchers.

PinstripesPlus.com: We got the scoop from Donny Rowland on newly signed Luis Medina. He sounds like he could be the newest version of Luis Severino.

Borrell: Anytime you throw 100 mph as a 15-year old you're not exactly under the radar. We haven't seen him pitch [in games] just because when he came in he was a little tender but we're obviously going to take our time with him. We're going to be as cautious as possible when you're that young and throw that hard we're going to make sure you're strong in all of the right places so we can take care of him.

PinstripesPlus.com: What can you tell us about Rony Garcia, another new signing?

Borrell: He's got the chance to come to the States pretty soon. He's very similar to Jose Ramirez. He looks just like Jose Ramirez with his delivery; it's loose and the ball just flies out of his hand. It's not elite velocity yet like Jose but very similar delivery. He spins it very well. He doesn't have the same changeup as Jose but then again Jose didn't have the same breaking ball as this kid. Still a ways away obviously but there's some excitement [with him].

PinstripesPlus.com: On the subject of Donny, he mentioned Miguel Yajure more than a couple of times. What can you tell us about his game?

Borrell: He's a carbon copy of Troya; not [throwing] as hard as Troya yet but Yajure tore through the league down there as a 17-year old. The kid's pretty good. He doesn't throw 94 mph yet but he spins the ball well, he's got a nice changeup, and he can pitch. He's a young, skinny kid so get him stronger and we should have a similar pitcher as Troya.


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